Tips on Buying a Treadmill
- Treadmill Motors – This is a very important consideration
- AC Motor – Alternating current. Without complicating the explanation too much, AC motors are usually found in Commercial Grade Treadmills. They are more powerful than DC Motors. i.e. a 3hp DC motor, is the equivalent to a 2hp AC motor. AC Motors require little maintenance also. If you require a commercial treadmill, always ensure you purchase a treadmill with an AC motor. Depending on the usage, anything from a 2HP AC motor may be suitable. 2HP AC for a small lodge / hotel, 2.5HP AC for a small commercial facility and so forth. The build quality of the motor is as important, if not more important than just the motor size. It is easy for companies to overstate motor sizes. The reality is that if you buy a good quality treadmill with an AC motor, you will be very unlucky to have to replace the motor. If you buy a treadmill with a low grade motor, it can be a 6HP motor and still have to be replaced within 6 months. Simply put, you need to buy from reputable companies, with a history in the market, with a proven track record, that can service and maintain your equipment.
- DC Motor – DC Motors are usually found on home-use grade treadmills. DC motors emit a dust, and therefore need to be cleared of all dust on a continuous basis, otherwise issues may arise. i.e. You will find that the speed sensor will be covered in dust, and your treadmill will not operate at the right speed. Never purchase a treadmill for commercial use that has a DC motor, they are not designed for commercial grade use. DC Motors are only suitable for domestic use.
- Motor Size Output
- Continuous HP (CHP)- This is the output that your treadmill runs at. It is the most important metric. Many suppliers will market the peak HP only and ignore the continuous HP. At MiFitness we will always list the CHP and PHP, as both are necessary for the consumer to know. Like on a car you look at the max speed, you would still want that information for the treadmill. Make sure you always ask what the continuous HP is of a treadmill, the REAL CHP. You can also check the motor size by opening the treadmill cover. Tee motor size will appear on the motor. For a DC Motor, ensure that you purchase a treadmill with at least a 1.25CHP motor, if it is a high quality energy efficient motor. Not all motors are made equally, and therefore you cannot make a comparison on size only. For an AC Motor, ensure you purchase a treadmill with at least a 2CHP AC motor, again a larger motor would be required for more usage. Comparing the motor size only, is a very simple comparison. Motors are graded, from A being the worst. Shua treadmill motors are Grade F motors as an example which is of the highest grade motors in production. A 1.25hp DC motor from Shua is not the same as a 1.25hp DC motor from cheaper treadmills.
- Peak HP – This is the maximum HP that a treadmill motor can run at, which is usually a very short period of time. It is not an accurate measurement of power output of the treadmill. As mentioned many suppliers will advertise this as their continuous HP. It is important to know both metrics.
- Incline – Generally most treadmills will have a maximum incline of 15% which is the norm.
- Max Speed – A good home use treadmill will have a minimum maximum speed of 16km/h. Commercial treadmills will have a minimum maximum speed of 20-24km/h.
- Warranty & Maintenance – Different brands have different warranties. No matter how good a treadmill is, it will always need maintenance. Treadmills are like cars, and they take a lot of impact. Ensure that when you purchase the treadmill, the supplier can offer backup service and maintenance on the treadmill
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